November 28, 2003



Philippines Seeking Temporary Reduction of Tariffs On Chicken Imports


The Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Manuel Roxas II will ask the Cabinet-level Tariff and Related Matters (TRM) Committee to temporarily reduce tariff on imported chicken for the month of December hoping to solve the current chicken supply shortage.

The DTI is proposing the reduction of tariff on the special importation of chicken to around 20% from the current level of 40%.

Yesterday, Roxas met with big chicken suppliers San Miguel Corporation, Universal Robina Corp. and Tysons; retailers represented by the Philippine Association of Supermarkets Inc. (PASI) and representatives of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

During the meeting, it was agreed that there is a current shortage of around 1.3 million kilos of chicken which can be alleviated by allowing a temporary importation of chicken through the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) scheme.

The MAV is the allowed level of importation which will not adversely affect domestic supply.

The MAV for chicken imports is set at 5.4 million kilos of which 2.3 million has already come in, leaving a balance of 3.1 million kilos.

However, of the 3.1 million kilos, 1.8 million has been verified for importation already, leaving an allowance of just 1.3 million kilos.

Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal said the government would set specific conditions for the importation.

This includes limiting the importation of chicken to MAV holders.

The lower tariff would apply only to chicken importation for the month of December.

Lastly, the chicken importation would be limited to 1.3 million kilos or 1,000 metric tons of chicken, which would likely be sourced from Australia on the US.

Initially, the country had been eyeing chicken imports from Thailand. But chicken imports from Thailand are reportedly more expensive than from Australia and the US.

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